St. Marks Evangelical Lutheran Church
The Stranger, by O.J. Hunlock
The small meager cottage stood nearby the road
Where an elderly couple dwelled.
Their life had been hard, but they never
complained. For love, in their hearts, they both held.
The night wind blew cold, deep snow covered
the ground. But the fire on their hearth burned bright,
Their evening meal over, and all cleared away
They felt safe from the blast of the night.
The warmth made them drowsy, they nodded a bit,
When a sudden rap on the door,
Roused them abruptly and startled them some,
Not knowing what it could be for.
The old man carefully unlatched the string,
The wind pushed the door open wide,
And there on the doorstep, shaking with cold
Was a stranger, he welcomed inside
“I'm sorry to bother, “the stranger began,
But I seem to somehow lose my way,
The snow must have blinded me far back down
the road,“ “Come on in, you're welcome to stay.“
His clothing was thin and tattered and worn,
But his manner was pleasant and kind.
He was pale with hunger and cold, they could see,
But the stranger was meek and benign.
Their hearts went out to him,
“Please, sit down and eat,
Warm yourself by the fire, “they both said.
“And when you have finished, you must stay
the night, While you eat, I will make up your bed.“
Outside the wind raged, but inside it was warm,
And they rested the night, so lighthearted,
With first morning light the old couple awoke
To find their guest had departed.
At first, they were shaken and filled with alarm,
But all was still there in its place.
They felt they felt that the stranger had done
them no harm
As they both recalled his gentle face.
The old man discovered the wood was piled high
At the side of the cottage small,
Enough to last well into spring, he thought,
And no more to gather till fall.
The old woman was equally thrilled,
For the larder was full to the brim.
They looked at each other, and knowingly said,
“We helped, not a stranger, but Him.”
The Road to Emmaus
As the two disciples came near the village to which they were going, Jesus walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem, and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.